The Canadian government announced Friday afternoon that the US and Canada agreed to eliminate all steel and aluminum tariffs within 48 hours and to prevent the "trans-shipment" of steel made in other countries, a moved aimed primarily at cheap Chinese steel.
One year ago, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs on Canada, as well as Mexico, were necessary to prevent a flood of cheap Chinese steel into the us through its NAFTA partner countries. Korean automakers including Kia Motors Corp. advanced on news the proclamation will exempt South Korea from any future tariffs because it renegotiated the U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement previous year.
Initially, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union were given exemptions to these tariffs, but those expired on June 1.
In a statement, the Canadian government said agreement had been reached for U.S. tariffs to be lifted on Canadian steel and aluminium imports.
"We stayed strong because that's what workers were asking ... that's what Canadians were saying", Trudeau said.
President Donald Trump imposed tariffs previous year of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum.
Trump directed his trade team to pursue negotiations and address the impact that imports are having on the US auto industry and its ability to invest in new research and development that he says is critical to the nation's security.
On the North American front, the trade war is over.
Reuters and other new outlets reported earlier this week that Trump was expected to delay the decision.
The separate agreements, which will not impose USA quotas on Canadian and Mexican metals shipments, will also eliminate Mexican and Canadian retaliatory tariffs on a broad range of US products, including pork, beef and bourbon.
The administration argues that US automakers' declining share of the domestic market coupled with foreign trade barriers is eroding USA innovation. Critics have noted that the tariffs harm the far larger number of people who work for companies that use the steel and aluminum the tariffs have made more expensive, plus millions of consumers and shareholders.
In a conclusion likely to invite challenges from manufacturers and industry analysts, Trump said America's defense industrial base relied on the domestic auto sector for technological advances essential to U.S. "military superiority".
"After such consultations, the importing party may impose duties of 25%for steel and 10 percent for aluminum in respect to the individual product (s) where the surge took place (on the basis of the individual product categories set forth in the attached chart)". Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) put it bluntly in an op-ed that ran in The Wall Street Journal last month: "There is no appetite in Congress to debate USMCA with these tariffs in place".
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said he would meet with Trudeau in Ottawa on May 30 to discuss "advancing" ratification.